Fresh moves appear to be afoot to resolve the Ayodhya dispute out of court, three days after the Allahabad High Court verdict in the case.
Mohammad Hashim Ansari, one of the main litigants in the title suits, on Sunday met Mahant Gyan Das of Hanumanghari who is also President of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad to explore the possibility of an amicable solution.
Though Mahant Gyan Das refused to divulge details, 90-year-old Ansari said: “I have initiated the move after being asked by the Sunni Central Waqf Board.”
During an hour-long closed door meeting between the Mahant and Mr. Ansari at Hanumanghari, famous Lord Hanuman temple near the makeshift temple on the disputed site, discussions revolved around ways to chalk out an agreement on the 60-year-old temple-mosque dispute.
“Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad will play the role of a mediator and Gyan Das will talk with Nirmohi Akhara (another key party in the dispute),” Mr. Ansari told PTI, adding that the Akhara President was ready for this.
“This issue will be decided in Ayodhya itself and time for an amicable solution has come,” he added.
Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani, however, said he was not aware of any such move. The Board had said they would challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.
Mr. Jilani said he had spoken to Board Chairman Zafar Ahmad Farooqui who denied that Ansari had been asked to initiate any talks.
“Farooqui told me that he cannot authorise a person without consulting the Board members,” he said.
Allahabad High Court in its majority verdict on Thursday allotted one-third of the disputed site in Ayodhya to Nirmohi Akahara. The other two-thirds portion has been given equally to be shared by the Waqf Board and the side representing Ram Lalla.
Soon after the verdict, Mr. Ansari had called for burying the dispute and making “a fresh start”, a view echoed by 84-year-old Mahant Bhaskar Das of Nirmohi Akhara.